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January 07, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, January 07, 2005

Editorial Editorial (January 07, 2005)

City has big plans for 2005

Despite its flat revenue and oversupply of vacant office space, Mountain View will be growing this year and finalizing a plan that could approve construction of several hundred new homes at the Mayfield Mall property.

Newly installed Mayor Matt Neely, who takes the gavel from Matt Pear this week, will guide city council deliberations on the hotly-debated Mayfield plan, starting with a possible decision next week on whether to rezone the area for housing. The 2005 council will include new members Laura Macias and Tom Means in the seats vacated by Rosemary Stasek and Mary Lou Zoglin, who were termed out.

Unfortunately, the news is not so uplifting on the school front, where lower enrollment forecasts will mean closure of one elementary school, a decision that is sure to upset parents and students of the unlucky school that is chosen. The final decision will be up to the Mountain View-Whisman school board, where Fiona Walter and RoseMary Roquero are replacing Rose Filicetti and Carol Fisher, who retired.

The news is brighter for the Alta Vista High School this year. Construction is scheduled to begin this year on a new campus for the high school. The step back for the school district belies the city's ambitious building plans for the year. The most visible project will be Camino Medical Group's new offices at El Camino Real and The Americana. Demolition of the old Emporium building will begin in a few weeks to make way for a 250,000-sq. ft. medical office complex.

Several major city projects are moving ahead this year as well; construction of 120 new efficiency studios is already underway at San Antonio Circle, and a 405-space parking garage with street-level retail stores is scheduled to break ground at California and Bryant Streets by December. A ground-breaking for the Avenidas senior day care health center takes place Saturday, and the city's own senior center, next door at the Escuela Avenue site, also will break ground later this year.

A footnote: All Mountain View residents should be proud of former mayor and council member Rosemary Stasek, who is putting her possessions in storage before beginning a new life as a logistics manager for the Kabul Beauty School in Afghanistan. Stasek has visited the war-torn country four times in the past three years and now that she is off the council, has decided to make a much more serious commitment. She is taking a job there, a courageous step, but one that she hopes will result in better lives for the people, particularly women, of Afghanistan.

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